4.5 million** British football fans won't be supporting England this summer

UK’s diverse ancestral make-up means we’ll be supporting more than one team in this summer’s global football tournament

New research* from Living DNA reveals which nations will be scoring highest with Brits this summer:

·         Of the 28.5 million* Brits planning to tune into the world football this summer, a third*** will be hedging their bets and supporting another team

·         Brazil, Spain, Germany and Argentina are the other nations that British football fans are most likely to support

·         Family ties account for almost a quarter of football fans choosing another nation

·         Strong ancestral links to Germany and Australia mean they rank highly in the nations we’ll be supporting this summer

·         Family ties to another nation (23%) are as influential in deciding which team to support as a country’s chances of winning (22%)

·         Brighton and Sheffield have emerged as the most patriotic cities in England, says research.

The UK’s cultural diversity as a nation will be more pronounced than ever this summer on the world football stage, as over 9.4 million*** Brits will be supporting other nations in addition to or instead of England, research from Living DNA today shows.

According to the company behind the world’s most advanced ancestry DNA test, almost double the number of football fans will cheer on another nation’s team because of a family link (23%) over a favourite player playing for that team (13%).

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The appearance of Australia, Spain, Germany and Nigeria in Living DNA’s alternative league table are thought to be due to strong ancestral links with these countries, according to the research­­.

Brighton and Sheffield proved themselves to be the most patriotic cities in England (98% and 97% respectively) with 20% less supporting them in cities such as Birmingham and Liverpool (78% respectively).  

David Nicholson, managing director at Living DNA comments:

“Our increasingly varied genetic mix means that more and more people are likely to support more than one team in major sporting tournaments in future.

It's very interesting to see the blend of European countries and more global ones in the top 10 teams we’ll be supporting. In the case of countries like Germany and Spain, we’ve seen migration since the middle ages with noble and royal intermarriages tightly intertwining our nations.  Brazil and Australia may appear highly due to more recent socio-economic migration in the last decades impacting England's cultural make-up. Either way, it’s fantastic to see so much global support for what is fast becoming an international football fan”.

Living DNA, offers an unrivalled, in-depth analysis of ancestry covering 80 regions worldwide. Those interested in finding out about their ancestry and links to global football teams, can visit www.livingdna.com.

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Notes to editors

Survey of 2,000 nationally representative UK respondents conducted by Opinium in April 2018.

Quoted figures based on percentage extrapolations of the UK adult (18+) population, according to ONS data, of 51,767,000:

* 55% Brits said they’ll be watching or supporting the football this summer equating to 28.5 million of the UK population

** Of the 28.4 million Brits watching or following the football this summer, 16% of Brits will be supporting another team instead of England – 28.4m/0.16 is 4.5 million

*** Of the 28.4 million Brits watching or following the football this summer, 33% (net) will supporting another team instead or in addition to England – 28.4/0.33 is 9.4 million


Additional detail: 2011 ONS data estimates the population of Spanish residents born in the UK at 77,554 and The Times newspaper estimate Australians living in the UK at 400,000.  ONS data from September 2009 recorded that the number of people born in Brazil residing in the UK increased by 700% between 1991 and 2009.

About Living DNA

Living DNA is a personalised DNA service, designed to help people understand more about themselves and where they came from in unparalleled detail. Developed by world-leading scientists and academics, the Living DNA ancestry test is the most sophisticated product of its kind on the market. It is the only test which can show people a breakdown of their UK ancestry at a regional level, and the first to allow users to view their ‘ancestry family’ at different points in history. In so doing, people can see at what point in the past they were connected to their friends and family through their DNA, and discover how ultimately, we are “all made up of all of us”.

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